I had the pleasure of taking Jeff from Ohio today on a smallie fishing trip on the French Broad and Little Pigeon Rivers. I had a couple of trips with Robert this week and the trend from the beginning of the week to the end was not heading in a positive direction. The catch rate had been declining even though the weather had been stable the entire week. Stable weather is an important factor when it comes to   improving the bite and we certainly had that in our favor. TVA had stopped generating at Douglas during the night for a few hours for the past several days and then would ramp it up to 15,000 cfs during the day. Not the most desirable scenario, but there certainly are some go to spots on the French Broad where hungry smallmouths hang out when they are running two or more generators. I have seen this time and time again where the fish are “off” for a few days and then suddenly they start feeding and a good bite seems to materialize out of nowhere even though the conditions have been relatively the same for quite some time. That was my hope today for Jeff that this thing was going to flip in the other direction and that the fish were going to be on the feed again. However, that was not going to be the case today. At the beginning of the trip when the first and only fish that your client catches in one of your favorite spots is a drum you know that this could be a tough day on the water. I decided that Jeff needed to fish the one spot where Robert and Mike had some success the evening before. There was a glimmer of hope with Jeff catching a couple of smallies, but the bite quickly disappeared. I then decided to make a move and again head up the Little Pigeon River to fish some holes that had been my most productive spots during what was an excellent spring fishing season. Jeff did a great job of working those honey holes for the next couple of hours and only came up with one white bass for his efforts. These are places on the Little Pigeon where you at the very least should catch a dozen or so smallies even on a slow day. The fishing was absolutely dead. No gar, google eyes, catfish, largemouths and smallies in what are traditionally great spots to fish. The writing was on the wall and with about an hour left to fish we both agreed that the best move was to finish the trip in the one spot where he did catch some smallies on the French Broad earlier in the trip. That was that same small hump that had produced that flurry of activity the evening before with Robert and Mike. Fortunately, with very little time remaining on the clock Jeff was able to make that Hail Mary cast and land the biggest smallmouth of his life. It was nineteen inches long and weighed 3# 1 oz. The picture of Jeff with his fish is included in this report. This was the slowest smallmouth fishing I have seen in quite some time. Jeff is an experienced fisherman and knew very well that there are times when the fish just flat don’t hit. But he hung in there like grim death and made lemonade out of lemons on day when a lot of people would have asked me to cut the trip short and head to the ramp.

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